NYTimes: America Is Using Up Its Groundwater Like There’s No Tomorrow

America Is Using Up Its Groundwater Like There’s No Tomorrow It would indeed be ironic if the capitalist juggernaut that is America for the last 100-yeats came crashing down because it failed to heed the warning of  Elinor Ostrom, Nobel … Continue reading NYTimes: America Is Using Up Its Groundwater Like There’s No Tomorrow

Pray for rain?

Anybody else mildly offended that #ATXCouncil starts with a prayer invocation that blames the drought on sin and insufficient prayer? — Dan Keshet (@DanKeshet) May 15, 2014 I’m completely baffled, and offended by this. Anyone who has jumped aboard the knowledge train about water in Texas, and doesn’t see why this is a bad thing, just hasn’t thought it through. If you believe in God, I can’t see how you can pray for rain. The amount of rain needed to make a real difference would be gargantuan. A major news item in the last 24-hours has been the announcement by … Continue reading Pray for rain?

Water, Water everywhere…

While I was in California last week, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of Emergency because of the drought conditions, Californians are seriously concerned about the impact of wildfires; over in West Virginia 300,000 people are affected by tap restrictions following the chemical spill in the Elk River and the company that caused it goes into bankruptcy, most people are concerned about their drinking water. Here in Texas, the invisible effect on the rice growers hasn’t caused the “waves” it should, another year and they’ll be gone, likely for good. For the most part, the drought has just caused people to … Continue reading Water, Water everywhere…

For Groundwater, Political Boundaries Trump Natural Ones

For Groundwater, Political Boundaries Trump Natural Ones The Tribune just published an interesting insight into the politics behind groundwater in Texas and how it is managed. It includes this helpful summary of how things got the way they are “When most GCDs [Groundwater Conservation Districts] were created, they focused on making sure current and historic water pumpers wouldn’t need to change their habits, he said. Instead, they should have encouraged them to limit their pumping as much as they could, knowing that new users would be entering the picture and competing for dwindling resources. “ Continue reading For Groundwater, Political Boundaries Trump Natural Ones

Abbott, leads by example

And says FU to Texas water users. Attorney general Abbott knows the law,  if nothing else. Texas is a property rights state,  along with which come a number of other rights,  not normally recognized as either good for the Commons,  or not allowed by law in a modern democracy. Those rights include everything under the property,  which would obviously include oil  gas shale,  but in this instance include water. Abbott must like a green lawn, we all do, but for the most part it has become impractical and should be unaffordable to waste water on a lawn. In what are … Continue reading Abbott, leads by example

Texas Water Wars

Despite the recent rain we’ve been having in Austin, and many flash floods, it hasn’t really made much of a difference to the lake levels, it will take time for the water to work it’s way through the ground and collection systems to the lakes. This report by the Texas Tribune highlights the current tension between Texas and Mexico over a 1944 water agreement. Things were very different back then. However, many of these issues have been well understood and behind many tensions around the world. I discussed this back in 2003 in my technology trends and direction presentation. I’d … Continue reading Texas Water Wars

Water, water everywhere…

It’s not the claim in this article, well researched and with many links that scare me that some 30 Texas towns are running out of water, that I find scary. I’m sure overtime, given the size of Texas there is some natural occurrence of this, and it can be measured and to some degree predicted. What I find most concerning, and it’s not the first time I’ve heard it, but when you see it in writing on a respectable website, it really hits home. It’s this We’ve got to get floods. We’ve got to get a hurricane to move up … Continue reading Water, water everywhere…

Whose water is it anyway?

Watching from twitter, I’m saddened, disappointed, embarrassed and angry, if as tweeted by @impactnews_cta , the Austin Mayor, Lee Leffingwell said strong conservation program is important, but “if we don’t use our water, somebody else will” #atxgov — Community Impact CTA (@impactnews_cta) The water waste in Austin is monumental. It’s probably not significantly different from most major US Cities. However, Austin is the Capital City of Texas. The 2nd biggest state(1) in the union of the United States of America, and claims to be a liberal oasis and environmental hub. In east and west Texas right now the drought and … Continue reading Whose water is it anyway?

Texas, Life by the drop

It’s hard to imagine here in Austin, where the most obvious sign of the drought was the ban on fireworks, the new islands in Lake Travis, a few of us even made jokes about being able to set mountain bike races up out there. In most other parts of Texas, especially West Texas, its not about fun. 2011 was the driest year on record in Texas, Texas lost between 600,000 and a million head of cattle; people were giving away sound horses rather than see them starve. It’s not a 1-year drought, it’s been going 3-4 years and we are not out of … Continue reading Texas, Life by the drop